Skip to comments.+ the BEGGAR KING: Answer to an Anti-Catholic + Part I
Posted on 04/16/2012 4:33:07 AM PDT by GonzoII
Catholics are accustomed to being the favorite target of bigots. The Catholic Church is attacked and ridiculed by both the left and the right, by both Secularists and Fundamentalists. Their points might be different but the methods are universally the same; disinformation and willful misrepresentation.
What follows is an exchange of views. I am presenting the text of an anonymous tract which I've frequently found on-line. It is a pretty good example of an attack on the Church from the "fundamentalist" perspective. I present it here in its entirety, unedited. I've added my own rebuttal and corrections throughout, usually paragraph by paragraph. Here is the key to who wrote what:
The original text of the anonymous tract appears like this, in italics and colored purple.
** My rebuttal follows in bold-face blue and is set off by two asterisks.
I've used the author's table of contents. Each chapter is a separate link and is hot-buttoned. The flow of the original text is somewhat haphazard and not well thought out but I've retained it. Feel free to jump around.
There are hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics world-wide, yet many are largely unaware of the dramatic differences between the official teachings, practices, and positions of the Catholic Church, and the clear teaching of the Holy Bible. There are multitudes of dedicated Catholics who are spiritually uninformed concerning these differences because of a lack of sound biblical instruction and exposure.
** There are indeed multitudes of Catholics, as well as Christians of other denominations, who lack "lack sound biblical instruction and exposure." But where will they find it? SOUND biblical instruction comes from the Church!
Though many Roman Catholics give unquestioned support to their church and strongly reject any possibility that their church may be in conflict with their own Catholic Bible, there are sincere Catholics who see glaring inconsistencies and contradictions between the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the fundamental truths contained in the sacred Scriptures. This booklet offers Roman Catholics, who are seeking after truth, a clear- cut comparison between the major teachings of the Catholic Church and the Word of God. The Word of God is the supreme authority from which all Roman Catholics must derive their beliefs and practices. All Scripture references cited in this booklet are taken only from official Catholic translations of the Bible.
** Every polemicist has an axe to grind and here is my adversary's axe: "The Word of God (meaning, I think, biblical scripture in this context) is the supreme authority from which all Roman Catholics must derive their beliefs and practices." This thesis statement calls forth the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Catholics believe that the Bible IS authoritative, as long as it is properly understood. But we find NO justification in Scripture or out for the notion that it constitutes a "supreme authority" on ALL matters of "beliefs and practices." In fact, the record of Scripture actually says something else, as we shall see...
While this booklet scripturally challenges many of the teachings within Roman Catholicism, it is not an attack upon the competence, sincerity, intelligence, integrity, or religious dedication of individual Catholics. This booklet doesn't deny the reality that many Catholics possess strong convictions and are deeply devoted to their religious beliefs. Neither do we deny the fact that some Catholics have had a genuine, born-again experience in Christ.
** Here we have the standard disclaimer that the author is not attacking Catholics, just Catholic doctrine. But it is going to be difficult to tell a few "hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics worldwide" that they are completely mistaken or that they have been duped all along, without attacking their competence or intelligence, isn't it? Note also that the author uses his own yardstick of what constitutes a "Christian," despite the fact that the Bible no where requires a "born-again experience" of anyone.
However, this booklet does challenge many of the positions and practices of the Catholic Church by using a point-by-point comparison of its major teachings and the obvious truths of the Word of God. This booklet asks Roman Catholics to carefully examine the Scriptures with an intellectually honest and open attitude (Acts 17:11), and to judge for themselves what the Bible actually says apart from official church censorship, restrictions, warnings, indoctrination, and qualifications. We believe the clear truths of the Catholic Bible will speak for themselves.
** Again we are told what the author is going to do. Let me add my own thesis here. I will show that this author's arguments are flawed by virtue of poor scholarship, poor logic, a lack of concern in presenting Catholic teaching fairly, a myopic reading of scripture and a sad lack of charity.
The fundamental problem confronting the average Roman Catholic is the fact that they are almost completely unaware of what the Catholic Bible really teaches. Many sincere Catholics, including laymen and parish priests alike, have never had sufficient cause to question the teachings of their church because they have never been adequately instructed in the Scriptural truths which challenge the principle doctrines of Catholicism.
** It would be a very rare Catholic who has never been accosted by a would-be evangelist quoting snippets of scripture to show that Catholic the "error" of his or her way.
The tragic reality is that the overwhelming majority of Catholics have either never personally studied the Bible, or have only done so under the strict supervision and scrutiny of their church. Many have not been exposed to the clear, simple truths of the Bible because they have been repeatedly warned to rely on the official interpretations, opinions, and traditions of the church.
** Yes, it is a tragic reality that so many Catholics have never personally studied the Bible. But let us be serious, many Catholics DO read the Bible at home. And scripture is an integral element of Catholic worship (the Mass). Does the author know that as many as five scripture readings (from the old testament, psalms, epistles and gospels) are read at the Mass every day? I don't personally know of a parish which doesn't have some kind of scripture study available, "under the strict supervision and scrutiny of their church." Does that sound menacing? The vast majority of Christians, of ALL denominations, learn about the Bible THROUGH THEIR OWN CHURCH. Why make it sound conspiratorial?
Even though Catholic versions of the Bible (Jerusalem Bible, New American, and Challoner-Rheims Version of the Latin Vulgate) encourage Bible reading and study (Deut. 6:7-9; Ps. 119:9-11; Acts 17:11), the tragic historical fact is that Catholicism, with very few exceptions, has repeatedly discouraged Bible reading and study, and even banned or restricted its use, distribution, and possession.
** The Church does have a tragic history and we, this anonymous author and I, will examine that history as we proceed. Does the church, "with very few exceptions," repeatedly discourage Bible reading and study? The answer is simply NO!
The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally suppressed, opposed, and forbidden the open use of the Bible. It was first officially forbidden to the people and placed on the index of Forbidden Books List by the Council of Valencia in 1229 AD The Council of Trent (1545-63 AD) also prohibited its use and pronounced a curse upon anyone who would dare oppose this decree. Many popes have issued decrees forbidding Bible reading in the common language of the people, condemning Bible societies and banning its possession and translation under penalty of mortal sin and death. The Roman Catholic Church has openly burned Bibles and those who translated it or promoted its study, reading, and use (John Hus, 1415 AD; William Tyndale, 1536 AD)
** The author makes sweeping, perhaps wishful, exclamations of "fact" and backs them up with a smattering of dates. But is this scholarship? "Facts" are part of a historical record. Let's see how the author did here:
Though external pressures have caused Rome to relax its restrictions and opposition against Bible reading in America, the Bible is still widely withheld and its distribution and free use discouraged in many countries which are heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism.
** Any Catholic will tell you that Rome doesn't bow to "external pressure" or they surely would have on artificial birth control and married priests by now. Bald statements such as "the Bible is still widely withheld...in many countries" need to be documented somehow to be taken seriously.
[To be continued...]
There may have on the human level I don't know, but it surely wasn't news to Him he was always with the Father in heaven even when he was on earth.
Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
I think you meant “there be” - Illiterate Boy....
Yes, the Lord Jesus taught these to be the first and great commandments.
In John 4:22-24 Jesus said:
“Ye worship what ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
It was the human level I was most asking about - I know all we can do is speculate. But speculation is some of this forum that is fun, when not Klannishly trashing other religions... But I was thinking it gives us a thrill when a loved one affirms that love: perhaps it worked that way for Him too. Like I say, I dunno.
>> apposing feelings or aversions toward the will of God<<
No one ever said there wont be opposing emotions or feelings. We still live in this carnal body.
Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Yes, of course the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. But it's preached from the scriptures. Why is this such a hard concept?? As as we learned from Paul, it is a good thing to check your preacher once he's done:
"The people in Berea were much nicer than those in Thessalonica, and they gladly accepted the message. Day after day they studied the Scriptures to see if these things [that Paul preached to them during the day] were true." (Acts 17:11)
What is it that they checked? Cassette tapes of oral traditions? Nope. The Written Word of God.
One more thing:
"Mark 13:31 - heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus' Word will not pass away. But Jesus never says anything about His Word being entirely committed to a book. Also, it took 400 years to compile the Bible, and another 1,000 years to invent the printing press. How was the Word of God communicated? Orally, by the bishops of the Church, with the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit."
Utter BALDERDASH. The scriptures have been written throughout the ages. Moses wrote it down. God Himself wrote the ten commandments. The scriptures were read before Kings. Jesus almost got stoned after reading the scriptures in his own home town. Christ cited scripture repeatedly. Jesus got into arguments with the SCRIBES and the Pharisees... but it wasn't an argument about their work (as those who wrote down and maintained the scriptures), it was over their own Oral Traditions. In fact, I personally refer to that incident as the First Reformation.
The WRITTEN Word of God has been with us through the history of man on earth, and to pretend otherwise suggests that was made up from nothing.
Hmmmm.... you know, it would have made sense to add in all of these extra-Biblical doctrines at the time that the printing press became possible... except,... oh that's right: the Protestants were the ones who spread the Bible to the masses and showed everyone that the RCC had been making it all up all along.
Amen! No argument there.
But lets add:
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
1Th 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
How can a man's word be the Word of God unless it is of God i.e. God's Word?
Because the Gospels didn't exist when the Apostles went out to preach, how could it?
And Jesus being Baptized forth-with came out of the water:and lo the Heavens were opened to him:and he saw Spirit of God descending as a dove and coming upon Him.
And behold a voice from Heaven saying: "This is My beloved Son.In whom I am pleased".
This is from my Douay-Rheims Bible. The first bible translated. in english from Latin and Greek.
Where does "obeying" come from?
So, you're saying Christ wasn't obeying God? Do you want to go down that path?
1)Catholicism is a liberal religion in which "truth" is ever changing, ever evolving, and symbolic rather than factual; or
2)"Fundamentalists" are an ethnic group of inbred swamp-dwelling "rednecks" whom the Catholic Church wouldn't have as members even if they begged to join.
Either way, the exclusion of "Fundamentalism" by Catholicism is a very bad thing.
The 'Gospel' is the good news that Christ has come, that there is forgiveness from sin through repentance, and that Christ made this possible via his substitutionary sacrifice - paying the penalty for my sin. The preaching of the time was that the Kingdom of God was here and all of the scriptures of that time were being fulfilled right in front of them.
Birth control? The evil of Homosexual acts? That marriage is between a man and a woman? Abortion is murder? No woman priests? The Catholic Church was established by Christ? Which religions have caved on these issues? Not the Catholic Church.
God sent a part of Himself to Earth to save us from eternal damnation.
I believe that the Catholic use of ‘Fundamentalists’ attempts to broad-brush paint anyone (like me) who sticks to scriptures at the expense of dissing their oral traditions. I don’t believe it hits the Fundamentalist faiths specifically... but it would certainly include them by implication.
You must be kidding if you think the Apostles only preached out of the Old Testament. You make the teachings of Christ void by your argument because they were not yet put to writing.
So they can just forget the words of Christ himself:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
So now the Gospel is the Old Testament?
However, I believe that it is an important doctrine to get straight due to several Scriptural references.
But especially see the post-resurrection Jesus talking with the men on the road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13ff
"27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. ... 44 Then he said to them, These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures..."
The Scriptures are given by God to men who wrote down the words given them by the Holy Spirit throughout our history. It all hangs together. It's all pointing to Christ. It's all about Him. And clearly (seeing Jesus' own actions above), it was necessary to be written, for why would Jesus ever reference it otherwise? He could have simply done a couple of miracles and been done with it.
So yes, the Gospel is the Old Testament, the New testament.... it is the scriptures, it is the Word of God. All. Together.
How could the Apostles preach the words of Christ if they had to be written first before they can be God's Word. Like I said you make Christ's teaching void because they were not first written.